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Olynyk named Scholar-Athlete of the Year by Athletic Directors

April 11, 2013

CLEVELAND -- Gonzaga University junior Kelly Olynyk has been named the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association Scholar-Athlete of the Year for men's basketball as well as being named to the Scholar-Athlete Team.

The 20 winners of the 11th Annual Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association Scholar-Athlete Teams were announced Thursday by the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association (DI-AAA ADA).

"Our Association congratulates this year's scholar-athlete award winners," stated Tim Hall, chair of the Division I-AAA ADA Scholar-Athlete Team Selection Committee and athletics director at the University of Missouri Kansas City. "We pride ourselves in honoring deserving student-athletes for both their academic and athletic achievements each year and are excited to have an additional platform on which to recognize these outstanding accomplishments."

Basketball players from all Division I-AAA ADA member institutions are eligible for these prestigious awards. Each of the nominees was required to have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate study and have been a starter or important reserve with legitimate athletics credentials. Nominated student-athletes must have participated in at least 50 percent of the team's games listed on the nomination form. To be eligible for nomination to the Scholar-Athlete Team, he/she must have reached junior academic standing at their institution (ineligible athletics transfers are not eligible).

Olynyk graduated in December with a 3.53 GPA in accounting and is currently in his first semester of the MBA program at Gonzaga. The native of Kamloops, British Columbia, helped lead Gonzaga to a 32-3 record this past season, the first 30-win season in school history, and to a 15th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga finished the season ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll and earned its first No. 1 seed into the NCAA Tournament.

While Olynyk is the first Bulldog to receive the Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor, several Bulldogs have been named to the Scholar-Athlete Team. Sean Mallon was a three-time recipient from 2005-07; women's basketball players Stephanie Hawk (2006-07) and Jamie Bjorklund Schaefer (2008-09) were two-time honorees, and Kyle Bankhead and Blake Stepp were each selected in 2004.

A special Review Committee of Division I-AAA athletics directors was responsible for selecting the winners. Completing this task were Committee Chair Tim Hall; Don DiJulia, St. Joseph's; Gene Doris, Fairfield; Bill Hogan, Seattle; Bill Husak, Loyola Marymount; Jean Lenti Ponsetto, DePaul; and Dave Mullins, East Tennessee State.

Now in its 12th year, the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association's mission is to enhance initiatives common to its Division I-AAA membership (the 101 Division I institutions that do not sponsor football), in particular, aspects related to their flagship basketball programs. For more information on the Division I-AAA ADA, please visit www.div1aaa-ada.com. The Division I-AAA ADA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 48th year.

For the complete team visit http://www.nacda.com.

--from gozags.com